There are definitely moments for hesitating, for thinking it through and waiting for your gut to give you some solid gold reasoning. Unfortunately there are also moments when hesitating really means that your mind talks you out of something that your heart is bursting to do. Sigh.
I was talking about this when teaching, every student could clearly identify with the feeling. It goes a little something like this…
You’re in class (at an audition/ with a group of people/ at a course – the place is really irrelevant – it can happen anywhere). Wherever you are an opportunity arises. The chance to shine or at least put yourself out there materialises. A teacher offers you the chance to perform the routine on your own; the question is thrown out to the class (as a good friend of mine and brilliant teacher does regularly) “Would anyone like to do this combo on their own?” Cue silence. And then someone puts up their hand, AKA one person votes for themselves and backs themselves to step up and stand out. It matters not whether they nail it or miss the whole thing, what seems to be most tangible at this precious moment in time is the disappointment of those who couldn’t quite muster the courage to say “ME”.
We (a colleague and I) offered this to students as part of an in-house audition – “Who would like to sing/ speak in front of the group?” You could almost feel it in the studio… the glorious idea of throwing caution to the wind and giving yourself the permission to hang the consequences and step into the light versus the fear. Just fear. [I could let fear have so many names, be so many different things– but all in all it’s all just fear.] And then I said to the class “This is THAT moment. The one that might pass you by and you’ll kick yourself for not putting up your hand. You’ll think about it later and wish you could come back to right now.”
These are not, traditionally speaking, overtly life-changing scenarios by definition but they are day-changing, heart-enabling, self-affirming snapshots of you… Maybe we should then redefine life-changing here? I could have gone on to say to my students: Don’t do this to yourself – DO IT. Ok, so you may sing off key, your voice may break or you may forget a line. So? What you’ll take with you from the moment is that you said YES TO YOU. That feeling is elation. The sense of self expands. Oddly enough, they don’t actually need me to explain this much, why? Because they’ve been here before, in ‘THAT” moment just somewhere else. Haven’t we all?
When I was at Universal Studios as a child with my family I could have put my hand up to ride the bike in front of the blue screen and be seen to be flying through the air with ET. I couldn’t do it; I was paralysed and stuck to the spot, terrified to say YES. Random yes, but a wonderful example of THAT moment.
I still think about that ET moment. I can see it in my minds eye. I use it to spur me on, no regrets but hey, no one said anything about forgetting the lessons! I let it teach me (I say teach because it’s still an active process) whenever THAT moment comes up again. You want to contribute to a debate, answer the question, be chosen for the opportunity or just dance by yourself – THAT moment never looks the same twice but THAT feeling of backing yourself and not looking back is sooooo good – it ‘s worth it. So are you. So go ahead, just say “ME” next time someone asks.